Races short and longer


Last night was the last race of the summer races we hold at the Oxford Sri Chinmoy Peace Mile. 87 runners entered the race.

I have bought a megaphone, you won’t be able to take it away from me now. Continue Reading →


Meditation is no protection from greedy wood pigeons

Yesterday, I was meditating in my outside room when I heard a very heavy bird land on the roof. Immediately my meditation was disturbed and I feared it was a greedy wood-pigeon who was going to start chomping away at my beautiful brassicas just a few feet away. However, I thought I ought to try and be spiritual and remain detached from my vegetable garden.

So I kept meditating but it wasn’t a very good meditation, because I was worrying about the effects of wood pigeons. After 10 minutes I gave up my attempts at meditation and went outside to see my vegetable planters. Two really fat wood pigeons looked very guilty and flew off. In ten minutes they had wreaked havoc.


So I have had to net the brassicas. Continue Reading →


Kings College Cambridge and Oneness-Dream

Last week I was on tour with Oneness-Dream, a group of singers who sing acapella the songs of Sri Chinmoy. I was driving three friends, including Snatak, who formed the group back in 2011 and who now has restricted mobility.

The first performance was at Kings College, Cambridge. One of the most impressive chapels in Britain. The last time I visited was in 2003 when Sri Chinmoy visited to honour his spiritual mentor, Sri Aurobindo. [Sri Aurobindo studied at Kings College, Cambridge before returning to India where he was an early leader of Indian Independence and later spiritual Teacher.]


Due to unforeseen circumstances, we left 45 minutes late, and so only arrived with a few minutes to spare. Kings College is very strict at closing the doors 5 minutes before the service starts. But, despite concerns over time, it all worked out – fortunately!

The Evensong service was very nice. I was admiring the architecture and beautiful singing. Then after the service, Oneness-Dream were given the opportunity to sing for 15 minutes in this sacred church. The first song was a song composed by Sri Chinmoy and dedicated to Sri Aurobindo. Sri Chinmoy would often sing this song at his Peace Concerts and counted it as one of his most soulful. Continue Reading →


Cherry blossom in New York

I often describe Queens, New York as a concrete jungle, but since I first visited there in 2000, the city has planted quite a few trees and in April, many are in full blossom. It creates moments of beauty and a welcome contrast to some of the cities less scenic areas.

Pink apple blossom. A profusion of colour. Continue Reading →


Young seedlings left to fend for themselves

I have enjoyed sowing and planting seeds in the house this year. But, rather inconveniently for my seedlings, I am away for ten days. So I have planted them out a little earlier than I would like, and left the tender seedlings in the house with water and water retaining crystals – hoping for the best. They could dry out, rot-off from standing in water – or they could survive. I will find out in ten days time.


The lettuce and spinach are vulnerable to slugs, so I left a ‘beer trap’ we shall see who wins.


Other photos from the garden. 

Pink tulips

Yellow is dominant; there are some purple primulas in distance

Fritillaries need a damp spring

More seedlings on the windowsill.


Secret lives of colour – Ultramarine blue

Increasingly I shop online. I never particularly enjoy shopping – especially for things like clothes. Amazon is very convenient – especially for things like electronics. But, while I like the convenience of Amazon, I don’t like its growing dominance and the more ‘soulless’ nature of this form of shopping. There are not many shops I feel an attachment to. The one exception is bookshops, which are somehow important for towns. I went to one town in South Yorkshire and it was all second-hand clothes shops, gambling shops and Pound shops – it was very dispiriting!


Where possible, I like to visit bookshops and buy something that takes my interest. I was browsing in this bookshop in Ilkley, where I saw a book called “Secret Lives of Colour” – it turned out to be a good book – something I would never have bought by an online search.

It had easy to read chapters on colour-dyes used by painters. It was really fascinating to learn the trouble artists had to go to – in order to get different colours. For example, there was one colour which came from a secret source in India. It was apparently made from cow urine, in which the poor cows had been fed only mango leaves!

Natural ultramarine pigment

Continue Reading →


Good use of time

Last summer we had the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run visit Oxford. A runner from Australia said they had been reading their journal recently, and came across an entry when Sri Chinmoy was speaking to me on a Christmas Trip in Malaysia. She said she wrote down, that Sri Chinmoy had said: “I made good use of time.”


Lake in Montenegro, last Christmas Trip

I don’t remember this. When you were in close proximity to Sri Chinmoy, it was easy to concentrate on the consciousness of the moment. The mind wasn’t working; it was more like being in the heart, absorbing the glimpse into another word. So I didn’t really remember much of the conversation. It would have been very nice to remember, but the words always felt less important than the inner experience. Continue Reading →


The Irish Sailor who didn’t know how to pray

Before becoming president, Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer. Often he used humour to get the attention of a judge whom he needed a favour.

On one particular occasion, Lincoln was anxious to get the attention of the judge, he announced: “May it please your Honor, I am like the Irish sailor, and beg your Honor to excuse me for this hurried interruption.”

The line worked. The judge asked Lincoln to explain his ‘Celtic sailor’ analogy.

Lincoln responded:

Well, an Irish sailor was overtaken at sea by a heavy storm and he thought he would pray but didn’t know [how], so he went down on his knees and said: ‘Oh, Lord! you know as well as meself that it’s seldom I bodder ye, but if ye will only hear me and save me this time, bedad it will be a long time before I bodder ye again’.” (The Log Cabin Sage)

For some reason, it reminds me of a joke where there is a great flood, and a very pious man starts praying to God to save him. A few minutes later, a boat comes by and the pious man – says “No Thanks. I have prayed to God, and he will come and save me soon”. The boat leaves. Another 30 minutes and a helicopter flies by, but again the pious man says “No thanks. God always listens to my prayer, he will come and save me.”

Another hour passed and the sea levels continued to rise and the man drowned. When he got to Heaven, he couldn’t understand why God didn’t save him, so St Peter enlightened him – who do you think sent the boat and helicopter?!



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